Around a year ago, in a pile of some stuff my mom no longer wanted, I found a thin pressboard cutout of the state of Texas. It caught my eye and I snagged it, thinking I could use it to make some kind of cool wall hanging. I stuck it in a corner in our back storage room and did nothing with it.
Then, a few months later, I used 3/4″ plywood for something and had a fairly substantial scrap leftover. I got to thinking about that Texas cutout again. It was very thin and kind of small and looked kind of lame (pressboard and all) but I thought maybe I could just use the shape and trace around it on the plywood to make a beefier piece. I stick the piece of plywood in the corner in our back storage room and did nothing with it.
In March of this year, I was hugely pregnant and waiting for a baby who clearly had no interest in showing her face. I had been trying to wrap up projects and not start new ones, figuring I wouldn’t have time to finish any new ones before the baby came.
Finally, a week after my due date, I decided to just go ahead and work on a project. If the baby came before I finished, oh well, at least I would have something to do in the meantime!
I traced around my original “Texas” but thought it looked too small. It gave me the basic shape, though, and then I free-handed a larger outline. That still looked too small, so I free-handed it one size larger again until it took up most of the width of the plywood I had to work with.
I used a jigsaw to cut out the straight lines and the bulk of the rest of it, but left the more intricate pieces for the scroll saw. (Thanks, Dad, for having a shop full of tools!)
The plywood was a little thick for the scroll saw so I cut very slowly. I had to come at some of the cuts from both directions and multiple angles to get them just right.
Next up, sanding… and look at that fun purple sandpaper! Not sure why it’s purple but it made sanding just a little more fun.
Obligatory instagram shot to share my progress for the day. I took the wooden Texas home and did real life things like make dinner, feed kids, clean up kids, clean up kitchen, put kids to bed. I didn’t want to wait for sunlight to stain it, and then have to wait all of the next day for the stain to dry, so I took it out on the porch and used my phone as a flashlight and went ahead and rubbed stain on it. I used Jacobean stain from Minwax, thinking that I was using the Espresso stain that I had used for my bed frame (footboard) last year. The Jacobean is waaay darker than I was expecting (since I was expecting Espresso) but I do like the way it turned out. The dark stain has a great contrast with the white lettering.
For the lettering, I printed out the word “home” in a typeface I liked, and then used a dull-ish pencil to trace over the letters and make an indentation in the wood. I then went back and filled in my indented outline with white craft paint. I free-handed a heart and was lucky enough to get one I was satisfied with on the first try.
(I have no idea why there are matchbox cars in this staged progress picture.)
I intended to put a coat of polyurethane on top to keep the craft paint from rubbing off in the future, but I don’t think I ever got around to that.
I hung my new Texas wood cutout on the wall in our entryway (reveal coming soon hopefully!) and then early the next morning, our newest small human decided to make her appearance!